The Seal Point beach in Cape St Francis has been closed following a non-fatal shark attack just after 3 PM today (Tuesday 3 April). The victim, a surfer (Ross Spowart), has been taken to hospital in a stable condition and is set to undergo surgery later this evening.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) in St Francis Bay, Municipal lifeguards, and local authorities have urged the public not to enter the water until further notice following the incident.
“Local authorities are monitoring and will advise on the status when possible until then the No Swimming Shark Sighting flag will be out specifically at Cape St Francis Beach,” said Stuart Obray, NSRI St Francis Bay deputy station commander.
The NSRI was called into action following reports of a local 19-year-old male surfer, who had been bitten on the knee whilst out in the surf. Once on the scene, the NSRI crew found the surfer on the beach after fellow surfers came to his aid in the water. Once ashore, local Municipal lifeguards initiated medical care treating the surfer’s wounds. A shark bite kit stored at the beach was used to assist in the treatment of the patient.
The species of shark remains unknown, however going off the size of the wound it is believed the shark was relatively small, further investigation is needed to positively I.D the species in question.
Beyond this, there has been a plea from the local community for the relevant authorities to investigate licensed shark fishing conducted in the area following reports of chumming.
From every surfer out there, we wish our brother of the sea a speedy recovery. Be safe out there.